November 23, 2013 8:24:33 PM
I first heard the song "Autumn Leaves" when I was very young. My parents often played pianist Roger Williams' 1955 chart-topping instrumental version on the turntable in the den. Williams' incredible runs down the keyboard perfectly evoke visions of leaves, red and gold, drifting to earth. I did then, and still do, think it's one of the most beautifully crafted songs I've ever heard. And what better accompaniment to the majestic show the sugar maple, sweet gum, gingko, pear and hickory trees are putting on for us? Academics will tell us it's all a matter of chlorophyll, temperature, sunlight, moisture and pigments. We just know it is awe-inspiring.
Photographer and Dispatch page designer Matt Garner took his digital camera and artistic eye outdoors to find Mother Nature proving once again that autumn is, as the late poet and editor William Cullen Bryant once described, " ... the year's last, loveliest smile."
Roger Williams died in 2011, but video recordings of his "Autumn Leaves" live on on YouTube. Why not watch one of them, before the last brilliant leaf falls.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.